Marcus Cumberlege: “Time Studies”

Another day, another Irish poet.  Self really likes Marcus Cumberlege.  Here’s a poem from his collection, Running Towards a New Life (The Anvil Press Poetry Series)

On the Bus to Monaghan, Yesterday Evening

On the Bus to Monaghan, Yesterday Evening


Look at your watch to see if you’re in time:
Half past — the hour — a quarter, to and past.
Think, when you hear unhurried church bells chime,
This hour is but the echo of the last.


Festina Lente.  Slow the pulse-rate down.
Get into step, change out of second gear.
Time is a sea where frantic swimmers drown.
The lunar clock shows thirteen hours a year.


The freshest water’s taken at the source.
Time is a stream that muddies as it flows;
By checking it you multiply its force.
There’s dew still on The Romance of the Rose.


Live with your work, don’t wait to put it down.
The fruits of death grow riper every hour.
Suppose that Nazareth were your home town.
And every unturned stone concealed a flower.

Marcus Cumberlege was born in 1938. Running Towards a New Life is his third collection of poetry, the others being Oases (1968) and Poems for Quena & Tabla (1970). He lives in County Galway in Ireland.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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